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Top 10 IT Operations Manager Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for IT Operations Managers and how to obtain them.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are an important part of the IT operations manager job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and expertise in a specific area. Certification can provide an edge to those seeking employment or promotion, as employers often look for applicants with industry-recognized certifications. Certifications also provide proof that an individual is up-to-date on the latest technologies, practices, and standards in their field. Additionally, certifications can help open doors to career opportunities and provide a competitive advantage in the job market.

The purpose of the article is to provide an overview of the most beneficial certifications for IT Operations Managers, and how they can help enhance an IT Operations Manager's career.

What are IT Operations Manager Certifications?

IT Operations Manager Certification is a certification that recognizes a professional’s ability to manage the day-to-day operations of an IT infrastructure. This certification provides validation of the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage the technology resources in an organization, such as hardware, software, networks, and data centers. It covers topics such as system architecture, network topology, distributed systems, security protocols, and disaster recovery planning.

Having an IT Operations Manager Certification can be beneficial for organizations in several ways. First, it helps ensure that the IT staff is properly trained to handle any technical issues that may arise. Second, it provides a way for employers to verify the competency of their IT staff. Finally, having this certification allows employers to easily identify qualified candidates when recruiting new employees or promoting existing ones.

In addition to providing recognition for IT professionals with this certification, it can also be used as a tool for career advancement within the IT field. By having this certification on their resume or CV, job seekers are able to demonstrate their proficiency in managing complex IT infrastructures and setting up secure networks. Furthermore, having this certification can open up opportunities for higher salaries and promotions within an organization.

Pro Tip: When considering an IT Operations Manager Certification, look for programs that offer hands-on learning opportunities and real-world scenarios to help you gain the practical skills needed to become a successful operations manager. Additionally, look for programs that provide networking opportunities with current and former IT professionals in your field.

Related: What does an IT Operations Manager do?

Top 10 IT Operations Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to IT Operations Managers today.

1. ITIL® Foundation Certification

ITIL® Foundation Certification is a globally recognized qualification that demonstrates an individual’s understanding of the ITIL® framework. The certification covers the core concepts and processes of IT Service Management (ITSM) as outlined in the ITIL® best practice framework. It provides individuals with the skills and knowledge to support, manage, and improve IT services within their organization.

The certification typically takes between two to four days to complete depending on the course provider. It can be taken either as a classroom-based course or as an online course. Both options provide students with the same level of learning experience and will cover topics such as service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, continual service improvement, and more.

To get certified for the ITIL® Foundation Certification, you must pass an exam administered by an accredited provider such as PeopleCert or EXIN. The exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions which must be completed within 60 minutes. The cost of taking the exam varies depending on your chosen provider but usually ranges from $150 to $250 USD.

2. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a globally recognized certification in the field of information security. It is an independent information security certification granted by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)². This certification is designed to validate an individual’s knowledge and experience in designing, implementing, and managing a secure IT infrastructure.

To obtain the CISSP certification, you must have at least five years of cumulative paid full-time work experience in two or more of the eight domains of the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). You must also pass the CISSP exam which consists of 250 multiple choice questions covering topics such as access control systems and methodology, telecommunications and network security, cryptography, physical security, software development security, operations security, business continuity planning/disaster recovery planning and legal regulations & compliance.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on your country but typically costs around $699 USD. The exam typically takes 4 hours to complete. Once you have passed the exam you will receive your official CISSP certificate from (ISC)².

3. CompTIA A+ Certification

CompTIA A+ Certification is a globally recognized credential that validates the knowledge and skills of IT professionals. It is an entry-level certification for those looking to break into the IT industry or advance in their current career. It covers a wide range of topics, from hardware and networking to operating systems and security.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the CompTIA A+ certification process, depending on the individual's experience level and study habits. To get certified, individuals must pass two exams: 220-1001 (Core 1) and 220-1002 (Core 2). Both exams are 90 minutes long and consist of multiple choice questions. The exams cost $226 USD each.

To prepare for the exam, candidates should review course materials provided by CompTIA or other third party providers such as books, online courses, practice tests, etc. Additionally, it is recommended that candidates have hands-on experience with computers before attempting the exam.

Once both exams are successfully passed, individuals will receive their CompTIA A+ Certification which is valid for three years from the date of completion.

4. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a certification program designed to recognize IT professionals who have the skills and knowledge necessary to design, implement, and manage solutions based on Microsoft technologies. The MCSE certification validates an individual’s ability to build business solutions using the latest Microsoft server technology, including Windows Server 2016, Azure, Exchange Server 2016, SharePoint Server 2016, and System Center.

To become an MCSE certified professional, you must first pass one or more exams that demonstrate your expertise in a particular technology. The exams are typically multiple-choice or hands-on labs. The number of exams required for certification varies depending on the technology you are certifying for.

It typically takes about 6 months to prepare for and pass all of the necessary exams to become an MCSE certified professional. However, this timeline can vary depending on your experience level and how much time you are able to dedicate to studying each day.

The cost of becoming an MCSE certified professional will depend on which exams you need to take in order to achieve certification. Each exam costs around $165 USD but prices may vary by country. Additionally, some training providers offer discounted exam vouchers or practice tests which can help reduce the overall cost of certification.

Once you have passed all of the necessary exams for your chosen technology track, you will receive your official MCSE certification from Microsoft. This certificate will serve as proof that you have achieved expert-level knowledge in Microsoft technologies and can be used as evidence when applying for jobs or promotions in the IT field.

5. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is the most widely recognized and respected certification for project managers. The PMP certification demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge and experience to successfully lead projects.

To get the PMP certification, one must pass an exam administered by PMI. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, which are divided into five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing. Candidates must answer at least 106 questions correctly to pass the exam.

The amount of time it takes to get the PMP certification depends on each individual's background and experience in project management. For those with no prior experience or training in project management, it can take up to six months of studying and preparation before taking the exam. For those with more experience or training in project management, it may take less time.

In order to become certified as a PMP, one must meet certain eligibility requirements set by PMI. These include having either a secondary degree (high school diploma/GED or global equivalent) plus four years of professional project management experience with 7500 hours leading projects; or a four-year degree plus three years of professional project management experience with 4500 hours leading projects; or have 35 contact hours of formal education in project management topics.

The cost for taking the PMP exam varies depending on whether you are a member of PMI or not. For non-members, the exam fee is $555 USD; for members, it is $405 USD. Additionally, there are other associated costs such as study materials and practice exams that should be considered when budgeting for your PMP certification journey.

6. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is a certification program designed to teach the fundamentals of Scrum and how to effectively apply them in a real-world environment. It is intended for those who are new to Scrum or those who need to brush up on their skills. The CSM certification is offered by the Scrum Alliance, an international organization that promotes and supports the use of Scrum.

The CSM certification requires a two-day course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). During the course, attendees learn about the principles and practices of Scrum, as well as how to apply them in their own organizations. After completing the course, participants must pass an online assessment in order to receive their certification.

In terms of cost, the CSM certification costs around $1,000 USD depending on where you take it and whether or not you are a member of the Scrum Alliance. Additionally, some employers may provide tuition reimbursement for employees who complete this course.

Overall, getting your Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification typically takes two days and costs around $1,000 USD. It is a great way to gain valuable knowledge about how to effectively use Scrum in your organization and can be beneficial for both individuals and companies alike.

7. Certified Data Center Professional (CDCP)

Certified Data Center Professional (CDCP) is an internationally recognized certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of data center professionals. The CDCP credential is awarded by the Uptime Institute, a leading provider of data center training and consulting services.

The CDCP certification is designed to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of data center operations and best practices. It covers topics such as data center design, energy efficiency, cooling systems, power distribution, security, risk management, and more. The certification requires a minimum of two years of experience in the field and successful completion of an exam.

It typically takes about three months to complete the required coursework for the CDCP certification. This includes self-study materials, lectures from industry experts, hands-on labs, and practice exams. After completing all requirements for the program, candidates must pass a final exam in order to receive their certification.

The cost of obtaining the CDCP certification varies depending on where you take your courses and how much preparation you need before taking the final exam. Generally speaking, it can range from around $1,000-$2,500 USD including tuition fees and exam costs.

8. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a certification program offered by Cisco Systems, Inc. that validates an individual's knowledge and skills in networking technologies. It is the most popular of all Cisco certifications and is designed to provide a basic understanding of networking concepts and how they are applied in real-world scenarios.

The CCNA certification requires passing one exam which covers topics such as routing, switching, network security, IPv4/IPv6 addressing, and more. The exam typically takes around 90 minutes to complete and consists of multiple-choice questions.

In order to get the CCNA certification, you must first register for the exam with Cisco. You can do this through their website or through an authorized training provider such as Global Knowledge or Pearson VUE. The cost of the exam varies depending on where you take it but generally ranges from $125-$300 USD.

Once you have registered for the exam, you will need to study for it using materials provided by Cisco or other resources such as books or online courses. Most people spend several months studying before taking the exam, although some may be able to pass it after only a few weeks of preparation.

After passing the exam, you will receive your official CCNA certificate which is valid for three years from the date of completion. To maintain your certification status, you must recertify every three years by taking and passing another CCNA exam or completing certain other requirements set forth by Cisco.

9. Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) is a certification program designed to validate an individual's knowledge and skills in administering Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. This certification is aimed at system administrators, engineers, and developers who are responsible for the installation, configuration, and management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems.

The RHCSA exam consists of two parts: a performance-based exam that tests an individual’s ability to perform common system administration tasks; and a multiple-choice exam that tests an individual’s knowledge of system administration concepts. The performance-based exam requires the candidate to demonstrate their ability to configure local storage, create users and groups, manage services and network settings, install software packages, manage security settings, troubleshoot issues with the operating system, and more. The multiple-choice exam is designed to test an individual’s understanding of core system administration concepts such as user management, file permissions, network configuration, package management, security settings, and more.

It typically takes around 40 hours of study time to prepare for the RHCSA exam. It is recommended that individuals have some prior experience with Red Hat Enterprise Linux before attempting the certification.

To get certified as a RHCSA you must pass both the performance-based exam and the multiple-choice exam. Both exams are available online through the Red Hat website or through authorized training partners.

The cost of taking the RHCSA exams varies depending on where you take them. The online version of the exams costs $400 USD each ($800 total). Taking the exams through authorized training partners may cost more depending on their pricing structure.

10. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is an industry-recognized certification that validates a candidate’s ability to design and deploy secure, reliable, and cost-effective cloud solutions on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. The exam covers topics such as designing highly available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS; selecting appropriate AWS services to design and deploy an application based on given requirements; estimating costs and identifying cost control mechanisms; understanding data security concepts as they relate to AWS; recognizing best practices for building secure applications using AWS; and troubleshooting common issues with AWS deployments.

It typically takes around three months of study and practice to prepare for the exam. Candidates should have at least one year of hands-on experience working with AWS technologies before attempting the exam. It is recommended that candidates take an official course such as the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate course offered by Amazon Web Services or attend a training session from an accredited training provider in order to gain the necessary knowledge.

The exam fee is $150 USD. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam at a testing center or online proctored environment.

Do You Really Need a IT Operations Manager Certificate?

When it comes to deciding whether or not you need an IT Operations Manager Certificate, the answer is not a simple one. It really depends on your current career goals and experience level. If you are looking to become an IT Operations Manager, having a certificate could be beneficial in helping you get the job. It shows potential employers that you have the knowledge and skills required to manage an IT operations team.

However, if you already have some experience in the field, an IT Operations Manager Certificate may not be necessary. Employers understand that there is more to managing an IT team than just having knowledge of technology; it requires leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills as well. Having experience in those areas can go a long way towards demonstrating your capabilities as an IT manager.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to pursue a certificate will depend on your individual circumstances and career goals. If you think that a certificate would give you an edge when applying for jobs or help further your career development, then it may be worth considering. However, if your goal is to simply gain more knowledge about managing IT operations teams, then self-study or attending professional development seminars may be sufficient for reaching your goals.

Related: IT Operations Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About IT Operations Manager Certifications

1. What is an IT Operations Manager Certification?

Answer: An IT Operations Manager Certification is a professional certification designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to manage IT operations within an organization. It validates an individual’s ability to plan, implement, and maintain IT systems in order to ensure optimal performance and security.

2. What are the benefits of obtaining an IT Operations Manager Certification?

Answer: Benefits of obtaining an IT Operations Manager Certification include increased job security, higher wages, improved credibility among peers and employers, as well as the ability to take on more complex roles within the organization.

3. How long does it take to obtain an IT Operations Manager Certification?

Answer: The amount of time required to obtain an IT Operations Manager Certification varies depending on the type of certification chosen and the amount of experience one has in the field. Generally speaking, it can range from a few months up to a year or more depending on how much time is dedicated to studying for exams and gaining hands-on experience in the field.

4. What are some common topics covered by IT Operations Manager Certifications?

Answer: Common topics covered by IT Operations Manager Certifications include network infrastructure management, system operations management and security, troubleshooting techniques, cloud computing fundamentals, DevOps principles, and project management best practices.

5. Is there a cost associated with obtaining an IT Operations Manager Certification?

Answer: Yes, there may be costs associated with obtaining an IT Operations Manager Certification depending on which certification you choose and where you obtain your training materials from. Typically these costs will include exam fees as well as any course materials needed for study purposes.